Bagging groceries is not rocket science. I know, because I did it for several years while I was a high school student. The organizing principle is to evenly distribute the items, heavy on the bottom, light and fragile items on the top. If done correctly, each bag will in the customer’s order will weigh about as much as each other, and things like bread, eggs and bananas will be at tops of the bags. Why, then, at almost every store I patronize, do the cashiers or baggers operate under the incorrect assumption that similar items should be placed together? Carrying a bag full of paper products isn’t a problem, but carrying a bag full of canned goods or two-litre soda bottles is difficult and potentially dangerous. I wrote to one of the area’s leading supermarket chains about this problem, and I received a response that bagging personnel would be reminded of the correct way to pack bags. So far, I haven’t seen it.
Although I wish I didn’t have to, I own and drive a car. To express both my patriotism and my parsimonious nature, I purchased a very small, fuel-efficient car, which has a 12-gallon gas tank. When a local supermarket chain started advertising it would grant a ten-cent-per-gallon discount on gas at certain local stations for each $50 in purchases at its stores, I was mildly excited, until I found out that each earned discount could only be used on one fuel purchase of up to 20 gallons. As one who only needs to buy about half that amount to fill my vehicle, I can receive only half of my earned discounts. I wrote the company about this, and received the usual canned non-response. There are ways around this, I’m told, though most seem to me not worth the trouble. One can bring a fuel container and fill that, if one can find a safe place to store it One can split the discount with another vehicle if both can make and keep an appointment to meet at a participating filling station. Since I still occasionally ride the bus, despite CDTA’s best efforts to discourage my patronage, I’ve found the easiest way for me to realize the full value of the offer is to apply my earned discount toward the purchase of a bus pass.